Tumor infiltrating lymphocytes in early breast cancer

Giancarlo Pruneri, Andrea Vingiani, Carsten Denkert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Immunoediting represents a complex and dynamic process involving cancer and immune system cells, composed by three intertwined phases: elimination, equilibrium and escape. A large number of immune cell subtypes are involved, each playing a peculiar role in interacting with cancer cells: cytotoxic CD8+ T cells play a main role in cancer killing by inducing tumor cell death, while FOXP3+ T-regulatory cells represent an immune-inhibitory cell subtype. The evaluation of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) in H&E routine samples has been shown to represent a reliable surrogate of the immune anti-tumor activity and a robust independent prognostic biomarker in breast cancer (BC) patients, especially in the Tripe Negative and HER2+ subtypes. The present review addresses the mechanisms of breast cancer immunoediting, its cell complexity and prognostic/predictive relevance, providing evidence that TILs represent one the most promising biomarkers for BC patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-214
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2018


  • Breast cancer
  • Gene expression
  • Phenotype
  • Prognosis
  • Tumor infiltrating lymphocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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